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Donors, Databases and Direct Mail

Relationship Fundraising Today

Since Ken Burnett’s book ‘Relationship Fundraising’ was published in 1992 most of the non-profit world has embraced the concept as best practice for connecting with donors. However, this world has changed dramatically since then and charities are not always able to understand the motivations for donors today and what inspires them to support a cause.

One business, known as Pursuant, is helping change that.  They have funded groundbreaking research by Ian MacQuillin, the Director at Plymouth University’s Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, and fundraising experts Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang.

Through this research, they have now developed four volumes of reports that explore the why? how? who? and what next? Plus, there are a few other helpful resources on the very important topic of relationship fundaising.

Have a quick watch of this video with Adrian Sargeant talking about some of the study’s key findings:

To learn more from this vital research and download the resources available please visit the Pursuant website here.


Who are the Workplace Givers?

Good2Give logoOften workplace giving can be seen as a bit of a mysterious creature in the world of fundraising, but a recent report is shedding some light on the topic.

Non-profit organisation, Good2Give, (formerly known as Charities Aid Foundation) works to connect businesses and their employees as donors with charities.

Their recent report, thought to be the biggest on workplace giving in Australia, provides insights into almost 1,000 donors in Australian workplaces highlighting their preferences, behaviour and motivations.

The report also indicated that Aussie charities are potentially missing out on millions of dollars from workplace giving initiatives.

Good2Give CEO, Lisa Grinham, said “Workplace givers who were recognised by their employer and who received thanks from their charity invariably made higher donations. Almost half were also willing to increase their donations if they were just asked.”

Charities need to take the training wheels off when it comes to engaging workplace givers and extend communications to grow their relationship with these passionate supporters,” Grinham said.

For more information and to download the report, please visit the Good2Give website here.

Giving by Gender

Gender by GivingIn early 2016 The Wall Street Journal published an article about the differences in charitable giving by men and women.

The article, based on research conducted at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, suggests that giving is consistently different based on the gender of the philanthropist.

In one study, baby-boomer and older women gave 89% more to charity than men their age, and women in the top 25% of permanent income gave 156% more than men in that same category,” the article says.

As charities, it is important that we start to consider these gender differences when engaging with our donors and prospective donors. For more details, read the article in full here.

Getting your Direct Mail Right

direct mail

For many organisation, direct mail is a fabulous tool used to connect with new donors, engage loyal donors and generate income for your cause. So it’s important that you do all you can to get it right.

Fish has put together a little checklist of the nine most important questions you should ask of your appeal.

1.    Is your material donor focused?
2.    What response do you want?
3.    Will your donors be able to follow and comprehend you?
4.    Do you tell a story?

For the remaining five questions, and more details on the first four, please email Fish’s Business Manager Miss Fish Biz and request a copy of the DM nine questions help sheet.


Keeping Your Data Golden

Every good fundraiser knows that key to their success is an accurate and tidy database of donors and prospects. Sometimes this is a challenge for many organisations as people move or pass away and it’s difficult to keep up to date..

Launched in 2012, The Australian Bereavement Register (TABR) is helping organisations cleanse their databases by removing names and addresses of people who are deceased. This project has been welcomed by the public as continuing to receive mail can be painful for friends and relatives of the deceased person.

Cleansing data can include removing duplicates, deceased persons as well as name and address validation, correction and relocation.

Alliance Data is one organisation that offers this service. They work directly with the bereaved to gather fully permissioned verified records.

For more information on the Australian Bereavement Register click here.


Converting One-off Donors

Individuals have never been so keen to take on challenges, or collect money for their chosen cause from friends and family.  Often social media is used very effectively, gaining reach to donors who may otherwise never have heard of your organisation. This is great; the problem lies in how to convert these one off donors into fundraisers themselves, or at least regular donors of your cause.

After conducting interviews PhD researcher Karen Sutherland gives us some insight into the tricky business of converting the ‘viral quotient’.  She tells us:

In the case of Not for Profit organisations, especially charities, it seems to involve more than just sharing content, but sharing inspiration.

Karen’s top three tips are:

  • Be grateful, not needy.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of email.
  • Ask the fundraiser to report back.

To read the full article on Karen’s very helpful top tips from Pro Bono Australiaclick here.


Keep Your Donors

thank-you-note11Pamela Grow is an author, coach, copy-writer & nonprofit marketing consultant.  Pamela specialises in helping small nonprofits develop and has been named as one of the top 30 Most Effective Fundraising consultants.

In her article 10 things that will make your donors say “Wow!”, Pamela gets together with ten charities to give us a few hints on how to keep donors.  The common theme through the list was board members reaching out to their donors.  Not to ask for money but to share ideas or just say ‘thank you’.  Handwritten thank you notes were popular, either from board members or people who have received benefits from the charity.  Releasing an impact statement and personally inviting your top 100 donors to your annual general meeting were other ideas.

To read the full article click here.


Donor Retention A Problem

Global Benchmarking StudyA global benchmarking study was conducted in 2014 by the membership and fundraising software company, Advanced Solutions International (ASI).

The report is based on survey results of 326 fundraising executives across the US, Canada, Asia-Pacific and Europe, the report explores key challenges, goals and priorities.

According to the non profit executives surveyed, 45% identified donor retention as declining or stagnant, yet improving donor retention was not an important priority.  More surprisingly, 30% of non profits surveyed did not even know what their overall donor retention rate.

Also surprising was the lack of mobile donation options available with 40% of charities having no mobile options at all. Another 29% reported that they received half of their donations through online platforms.

Fundraising professionals were mainly concerned with increasing donations, acquiring new donors and expanding donor engagement.

For more key findings and to download this whitepaper,  click here.